Is She Overreacting? Young Woman Says Her Fiancé’s Friendship With His Ex Is Inappropriate

41 comments
January 4, 2014 ‐ By Madame Noire

From ESSENCE

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Dear Dr. Sherry,

I’m a 28-year-old woman who is engaged to the love of her life. My problem is my fiancé’s friendship with his ex. I know that he communicates with her from time-to-time. He says they are just friends, but a couple of the messages don’t seem platonic to me. He says she knows he’s just joking. Maybe I’m a prude or I’m too strict but I believe that when one is in a committed relationship, some jokes are just not appropriate to crack with the opposite sex. I mean, if I had a romantic dream about an ex, I wouldn’t share it with them as a joke because I’m engaged.

We’ve fought about this a lot lately, and now he expects me to be fine with it all because he said he would not encourage communication with her. In addition, he doesn’t trust me because I checked his Facebook and Yahoo mail account for evidence when he left them open. He has told me that he’ll make sure I have no access to any gadget of his – even a common laptop, which I use only when I don’t have mine.

Recently, I had a sleepless, panicky night all because of their friendship. My fiancé was very concerned and he suggested I seek counseling and put the wedding on hold until I overcome these feelings. I feel my reaction is normal and my request to either cut off all communication or to tell her to cool it because I’m not comfortable with the friendship isn’t really too much to ask.

Am I really overreacting?

Read Dr. Sherry’s response over on Esssence.com.

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  • The Heartbreak Kid

    Friends with an EX is a negative in my book. That’s too close too comfort in my book.

  • http://www.yourtango.com/users/cheekee-baby cheekee baby

    He’s not ready to be married an neither is she. Let him roam free and flirt with whomever he wants as a completely single man. If he feels there are things he needs to do before committing wish him happy trails and bid him go in peace. That is truly loving someone. . . yourself!

  • Chaz

    Never been in this situation and never want to. But I can say going ahead and marrying him would not be the best idea. If he cannot respect how you feel about the situation, then it should be a no go for marraige. Ive always said that exes can’t be friends, but I have an aunt who is friends with her ex husbands. But the difference is they have kids for one, and her husband is comfrotable with it because he knows that is strictly a friendship and nothing further. Hell, she’s friends with their wives as well. But it all comes down to if you trust your man or not. And it’s obvious that you dont. So I say if he is not willing to cut that relationship off for the harm it may cause to you guys relationship, I say let it go. Because that means its more to their “friendship” than what he is saying.

  • acb87

    anyone that tries to regulate relationships that started before you me the person is trouble

    • Jan

      but all relationships prior to your new one aren’t good and if they were why not be with those people. the woman isn’t struggling with him having an old friend, but this is an ex ( someone he once cared for and slept it with) . i could understand if they had children or were childhood friends.

  • Jan

    maybe im a meanie. i never saw the point of being close with anyone from my past. i am cordial and friendly, but no sir you can’t call me everyday or every month for that matter. i wish all my ex’s the best, but we broke up for a reason. leave the past where it belongs and i promise your life will go smooth.

  • get real

    No, she’s not overreacting. My last ex had “male friends” all who were ex boyfriends, or ex sex partners. These kind of friend ships caused problems with me. She’s now single, probably letting her old ex’es dictate her new relationships.

  • Gigi

    I have been in this situation. I was the ex in question. However, he told her I was an old friend in order to keep her from being suspicious. He would call me, text me, message me on FB whenever they were having problems. When they eventually broke up, he came-a-calling looking for the rebound. Not long after, he returned to her. It was clear that I was just his back up. He would contact me in an effort to keep me in the reserves just in case she didn’t “act right.” It took me a while to truly understand that. When I finally did realize his game, I shut him down and told him to stop calling. While I do believe exes can be friends and only friends, boundaries should be observed when either ex is in a relationship. The guy mentioned above has no desire to shut down contact with his ex. She’s in his reserves and doesn’t want to do anything to mess that up just in case his fiancee leaves. Men don’t like being alone.

  • Stacey

    I was in a situation with my ex-boyfriend where he had inappropriate conversations with a girl at his school. I told him I didn’t want him going out with her anymore.

    Well, the VERY next day he told me he was going to watch the game with some friends, I thought nothing of it. So later that night around midnight (they left for the game around 11) I just casually ask who he is with and he telling me he is with a couple that he knows and THAT GIRL! I was highly pissed. Later found out some of their conversations, she was comfortable enough to mention that she shaved her vaginal area.

    Women know when you are keeping windows open and it’s very disrespectful.

    Sorry to say but she doesn’t need to marry this guy, so sorry, you husband should have the utmost respect for you and your feelings.

    I hate to hear stories like this because she seems to love him so much. But her whole life with him will be filled with this anxiety if she stays with him.

  • Nya Jacobsen

    Trust is so important in a relationship. They don’t trust each other and I doubt if it gets better after the wedding.

  • Ohh

    If she has an ex, she just needs to get in touch with him and do exactly what her fiance is doing. Then and then he will realize how it hurts. Problem solved.

    • Stacey

      Sorry to say but this in the only to truly make him see and feel what he is doing is wrong. He just doesn’t think she will ever have the balls to do it.

      She should just break up with him though instead of having to play that game.

      I’ve played that game and it worked but it also added extra heartache. So yea just leave him quickly and as clean as possible.

  • CutieReppinNY

    End it, he’s already chosen his ex over you by having inappropriate convos. Personally I don’t get involved with men with ex baggage. Usually when someones ex is still hanging around it’s because they want them to be,they are not completely done with that chapter in their lives. If they don’t have children together there is no need for them to stay in contact IMO.

  • Luckystar393

    Ok so I have a question. I am currently in this exact situation but I’m the ex in the scenario. My ex and I dated for a few months back during our freshman year of high school. We are both currently 20 years old and juniors in college. Should I not be friends with him because he has a girlfriend? Ill admit sometimes the convos do get flirty but it honestly is all in good fun. I dont encourage cheating. He really is a good friend of mines. We’ve been friends for about 10 years. Please no bashing I’m sincerely asking

    • SoonToBeMrsW

      It’s inappropriate. You know he has a girlfriend and you are being disrespectful carrying on in your flirtatious ways with your “friend”. Your friend should also be aware that what he’s doing is disrespectful to his current girlfriend. How would u feel if the tables were turned and u had a new boyfriend and he was still being flirty with his ex? I’m sure you wouldn’t appreciate it at all. Treat others how YOU would want to be treated.

      • Luckystar393

        So cut out the flirtatious stuff. Fine. I get it. So should I also give up 10 years of friendship? Not all of our convos are flirty btw. We do come to each other for advice on our respective love lives and to just see how the other is doing.

        • Laine

          I get that you just don’t trow 10 years of friendship away. But there are boundaries. The advice on love thing is also inappropriate. I, for instance, would not be comfortable with the fact that the ex of my bf has knowledge about issues within our relationship.

        • Stacey

          It’s pretty disrespectful to flirt with a guy with a girlfriend.

          Maybe get to know the girlfriend so she can see you have no ill intent.

        • mzpw

          Every relationship has a beginning & an end. If you & your ex are still holding on to one another for the sake of the 10 year friendship, maybe you both need to be honest with how you two truly feel about each other. Be honest & respectful…because karma is real.

        • hollyw

          I get what you’re saying; relationships come and go, but honestly, so do friendships. Just because you know somebody for 10yrs doesn’t cumulatively add that much more value to a friendship; it’s the quality of the person… just food for thought. Do you feel you know his full intentions, or were they just assumed? Cuz usually how these things go at your age, esp. for guys, they do these things to keep extras on the backburner, ijs. I’m sure he’s not trying to disrespect you, or maybe doesn’t even know he’s doing it, but I’ve been in that situation before.

          You should ask him how he’d feel if you got into a relationship with a guy who only wanted you to talk to this friend sparingly. If the guy gets extra-defensive, he probably has more than friendly feelings for you, ijs…

    • CutieReppinNY

      Just ask yourself, would I want someone interacting with my bf this way? Would you think it was “all in good fun” if your man’s ex was flirting with him? Come on you already know you’re wrong for that, both you and he are wrong.

      • Luckystar393

        I know. I get it and understand. Thank you

    • hollyw

      I think the situation would be clearer for you if you ask yourself would you be 100% fine if the love of your life was doing the same exact thing to you…most likely, you’d feel disrespected, even if you knew your man “meant no harm”. It’s not just about intentions, but how seriously you value your relationships/friendships and you not wanting to do things that have the potential to mess it up. If it were me, if want as few risk factors present as possible lol.

  • Aiych

    Not overreacting at all. This kind of scenario has already played out in the public eye with famous men like D Wade and Ludacris, both of whom impregnated longtime “friends” even though they were in allegedly committed relationships. You are not overreacting in any way. If he respects you then he would cut off the communication with his ex and let it go. It’s inappropriate to carry on such interactions when he has the intention of marrying you.

  • kasi

    No you’re not over reacting. Its true that he shouldn’t be friends with his ex girlfriend. Because she will try to get him back because she is jealous of your relationship that is going to lead to marriage and she will lose him forever. Its best to keep him away from her. Otherwise its over.

  • Dr. Dubya

    Smells fishy to me. Either its a very old ex (high school) or they have children together. It doesn’t make sense otherwise for him to speak with her like that.

  • CC

    Been in this situation before, needless to say we did NOT get married because he was a liar and cheater. I am a big fan of following your heart. You can never go wrong with that. If someone is treating you less than what you feel you deserve then as a self-respecting man or woman you should leave. Period. You are in charge of your life, self-respect, pride and dignity and NO ONE, I repeat NO ONE can take that away from you because they would give themselves the same respect.

  • Lin Lin

    I think it speaks volumes that he continues to communicate with his ex and tries to make her in to the wrong party because she repeatedly asks him to stop. Had he any respect for her and her feelings he would’ve done just that and cut all ties with the ex. As Dr. Sherry said, if he doesn’t value your feelings now while you are engaged, what makes you think he will value them after you are married?! He obviously doesn’t value your relationship enough to stop the flirting with the ex in the first place. In my opinion, they do not need to be getting married right now in order for HIM to either get his priorities in order or to move on and let her find the right man.

  • Diva

    Unless he has children with the ex there is no reason to speak to her…at all. And what’s worse is that he’s making her seem like the bad guy for his disrespectful behavior. Treat people how you want to be treated- he would lose his mind if she were communicating with her ex in that manner.

  • 1drkchic

    oh and young lady seems to have a bit jealousy issues going on perhaps from previous relationship..they both need not to rush into marriage, she says he’s the (love of her life) but your only 28…life is just beginning! lol

    • hollyw

      Sooo… how old is old enough to have a love of one’s life, just curious?

    • Gabby

      My mom was 20 when she married my dad who was 21..30 years later they are happily married and still in love, so age has nothing to do with knowing when you have found the one for you.

  • Jessica Dailey

    End it…1) He doesnt value his relationship enough to respect it and let his past relationship go 2) She is already on a scary road of insecurity

    • Julez Donald

      I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to end it, but both parties you talk about the issue and come to a resolution. Maybe introduce them this type of issue isn’t the end of the world.

  • 1drkchic

    First off to me, I don’t see why your man should still be in contact with his ex (unless there’s kids involved) they are exes for a reason

  • Simone

    I agree with Dr. Sherry’s response but I also feel that she violated by checking not one but multple accounts of his. If you feel a need to do that something is wrong. Neither of them sound like they are ready to wed

    • Renee86

      I sort of agree. But don’t you think that two people who are entering into a marriage with another should have open access to each other’s accounts? My future husband could have all of my passwords if he wishes because I have nothing to hide. I think that his suspicious actions caused her to snoop. She may not have snooped if he didn’t give her cause.

      • hollyw

        I agree that the fiance has some real shady behaviors, and accounts should be open, but I also think the act of her sneaking through his things is an obvious no-no. It shines poorly on her character, as well. When she felt the urge to sneak, she should’ve seen that as the first indicator that something was wrong in the relationship, and sought advice BEFORE lol…now she will have that having over her head, even if he does come around to get point of view.

        • Renee86

          I have to disagree with you here. If she were snooping just to be snooping while she had every reason to trust him then it would be different. In the letter she said she was looking for evidence. I’ve been in situations where I ignored obvious signs until I had the evidence in front of my face. Sometimes, we need that in order to take the necessary next steps. In her letter, it seemed like he gave her a reason to look because he wasn’t being honest with her. She deserved to find out what was really going on and since he wouldn’t tell her the truth, she went and found it on her own. Since they were about to be married, he shouldn’t have had any problem with her looking in his email UNLESS he had something to hide. This situation is not the same as her having insecurity issues…it’s totally different and justified in my opinion.

      • Gabby

        I have access to all of my husband’s accounts, and he has access to mine, but I have never checked his. I have used his phone without him being around and never even felt the inkling to look at his text messages or anything else on his phone…even with us having a long distance marriage. Trust and faith go hand-in-hand when you are trying to have a successful relationship.

        • Renee86

          Exactly. You just reinforced what I said. (1) You have access to your husband’s accounts as you should. (2) You trust him (and I assume he doesn’t give you a reason not to) so you are not snooping. Here’s the difference between you and the young lady who wrote the letter. She doesn’t trust her man because HIS BEHAVIOR IS SHADY! He is flirting with his ex on facebook. She confronted him and he called her crazy. She knew she wasn’t crazy so she snooped to find the truth that was being hidden from her! I don’t know any woman who won’t investigate when she thinks her man is up to no good. No woman is going to walk away from the man that she is about to marry just because she has a “feeling”. Proof is needed. Even with the proof that he’s being inappropriate, she STILL felt the need to seek out Dr. Sherry’s advice.

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